Experienced Points: Go Back To WoW

By Shamus Posted Friday Apr 9, 2010

Filed under: Column 106 comments

This is a rant against fanboy-ism, I guess.


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106 thoughts on “Experienced Points: Go Back To WoW

  1. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Sports are full of fanboys.So,games are actually sports.Take that everyone who says gaming isnt healthy!

    By the way,you shouldve searched the wow forums as well,just for fun.Im really tempted to register just so I could use the phrase there.

  2. Adalore says:

    Only real thing to add is that Aion’s “15” has to be off, I remember wondering the forums and seeing that in far higher excess, granted they were having massive problems with the forums in general.

    1. Garden Ninja says:

      Shamus is clearly cooking the numbers. He must be an Aion fanboy


      On a more serious note, I thought that number seemed off too. Shamus, if it isn’t a typo, it might be useful to mention it, even if just to say, “Huh, that’s weird”.

  3. silver Harloe says:

    People seem to be immune to the concept of “I like this thing so much that I want it to be better”

  4. Dev Null says:

    Do skiers and snow boarders hate each other with the same fervor as Xbox and PS3 fans?

    Uhm… yes.

    Not universally of course, any more than all console fans can be bothered to rubbish other consoles, but there is a large-ish percentage – maybe 1 in 10, at a wild flying guess? – of both skiers and snowboarders who seem to more or less despise the other group. Mind you there is at least a tiny grain of reason at the core of such a divide, since skiers and snowboarders compete for some of the same resources, and do different things with them. I do both, and I have to admit that skiers tracking out my powder and boarders ruining mogul-fields have both annoyed me at one point or another…

    Also, people are a lot more polite about their prejudices in person than over the internet. Much easier to be rude when the other guy isn’t sitting right in front of you holding a pair of pointy sticks.

  5. Heron says:

    I have a friend who is an Apple fanboy. I try to be more moderate in my opinions, which has resulted in him calling me, with no hint of irony, a “middle fanboy”.

    He’s calling me a “fanboy” of not being extreme.

    I’ve never figured that out.

    Anyway, I too hate the “Go back to WoW” insult that gets thrown around, as well as fanboy-ism in general.

    1. The Scarlet Mathematician says:

      That’s so funny, it’s transcendent.

    2. Nyaz says:

      Shit, I have a feeling I might be sort of a “middle fanboy” too in some scenarios where I’m supposed to be “fanboyish”

      Example: I own an Xbox360, but not a PS3, but I don’t hate the PS3 (nor the Xbox360). In fact, I’d like to own them both.
      I own a PC and a Mac, but I like them both for different reasons.

  6. Factoid says:

    “boatfags” made me bust up laughing.

    For the record I go driftboat fly fishing every year. We fish sometimes from the boat, and sometimes we pull over and wade.

  7. Ugh… You’d be amazed (and disgusted) to see just how widespread this type of “fanboyism” really is.

    Hardcore gamers vs. casual gamers
    Soccer fans vs. American football fans
    Fly fishermen vs. Bait fishermen
    Lure fishermen vs. Bait fishermen
    Catch-and-release fishermen vs. Catch-and-eat fishermen
    Sci-Fi fans vs. Fantasy fans.
    Sierra Adventure fans vs. LucasArts adventure fans.
    Mario vs. Sonic
    2D Sonic fans vs. 3D Sonic fans
    Traditional artists vs. Digital artists
    Superman fans vs. Batman fans
    Superman fans vs. Hulk fans
    Disney fans vs. Dreamworks fans
    Pirates vs. Ninjas…

    It’s everywhere, in almost every leisure activity I know of. It’s insane. I just don’t get why people see the need to be so adversarial about their interests. And there are all kinds of variations on the scenario, where “Suggestion to improve X” is countered with “Shut up n00b, Go back to Y.”

    1. Irridium says:

      Yeah. Its everywhere sadly. And in many smaller forms.

      Then again, to certain people (me included), its also pretty hilarious to see fanboys argue.

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        It is the animal part of humans(though I despise using this phrase,I dont want to bother because it expresses my opinion very well).The old primal “Mine is bigger than yours”.

        1. MichaelG says:

          No, I think it’s about group identification. We are very motivated to belong to groups and bash all others as foreigners.

          1. Mari says:

            I think you’re pretty much on-target with that assessment. Firstly, we (mostly) all have a desire to feel superior. Group identification makes this vastly easier. “All the people like me in X respect can’t be wrong, ergo you Y’ers suck!” Secondly, we derive security from group identity. “I am not alone in the universe. I am normal. As proof, I have X in common with a large number of other people.” Put those two factors together and you get fanboys. Throw in the Greater Internet Fuckwad theory and you get “Go back to WoW”ers.

            For further proof that the squaring off of opposing groups is natural human behavior see American politics. Pro-life vs. Pro-choice. Republican vs. Democrat. Hawk vs. Dove. Liberal vs. Conservative. Is there any American political alliance that doesn’t result in the squaring off of opposing sides? Certainly other thoughts exist in politics such as “pro-life with exceptions for X” or “Libertarian” but ultimately those other groups are dismissed as “insignificant” and the debate re-polarizes.

    2. Hal says:

      Ninjas would be improved if they had guns like pirates.

      (Mwa ha ha)

      1. Sean says:

        Go back to your pirate ship, honorless n00b!

        1. Senji says:

          Honor? I think you don’t quite understand how ninjas work.

    3. Yonder says:

      I’d like to add Sail boats vs Motor boats as an example of a “real world activity” with widespread fanboyism.

  8. Nick Bell says:

    You seen fanboy behavior strongness where people are less likely to be negatively affected by it. For example, the internet and its natural anonymity simply reeks of fanboyness. To a lesser degree, you see it in sports stadiums, where fans spout fanboy insults at the strangers supporting their team’s opponent. The more personal the interaction, the less likely there is to be irrational hatred. It is hard to hate your brother, but some nameless person online? No problem.

    1. Squash says:

      “It is hard to hate your brother”

      Not according to my children this morning!

  9. nerdpride says:

    But it’s DIFFICULT to have fun with games, it takes voluntary suspension of disbelief, plus you can only play a limited number of games over time. Suddenly, minor differences are very important for gamers, criticism does adversely effect them. Especially rough now with so many games now taking up hours and hours of your time to get through all the content.

    I can’t think of a group of gamers who don’t react somewhat adversely when a favored game gets criticized. I don’t think it’s possible to break any gamer down into a basic human by saying a few words, some of us just have too much favorable experience for that to happen, but I also think that some of us are bothered by it (and some of that fraction need to have the barriers broken down somehow so we can go on to relatively bigger and better things–at least I think that’s how I did it).

    Tangentially, I think this is why in-game chatrooms are so popular for online games, even when the content of them is scarcely related to the game. You could see plenty of people chatting for hours instead of actually playing the game, chatting in the game provides relief from the game. And social games put an interesting twist on it by operating more as an icebreaker for conversation than, in plenty of cases, working like a game.

  10. mookers says:

    I can’t believe nobody has mentioned Linux yet.

    1. mookers says:

      Oh also, Twenty Sided is the best site ever. Anybody who has a problem with it should go back to WoW. :P

    2. Heron says:

      $MY_DISTRO is better than $YOUR_DISTRO!!!!111

      The more relevant topic to one of Shamus’ recent topics is programming languages. C++ vs Java, PHP vs ASP, Ruby vs Everyone, Python vs Everyone, etc.

      I once had a guy tell me “there is absolutely no reason anyone should ever write object-oriented code”. He was a hardcore C fanboy. I never did figure out the reasoning behind his position (assuming there was any reasoning). Childhood trauma, perhaps?

      1. T-Boy says:

        Oh god, Ruby douchebaggery extends to the highest levels of the platform itself. Or at least John Atwood says so.

        Say what you like about Python, but at least Guido van Rossum doesn’t go out of his way to jam his foot down his throat.

        1. Rallion says:

          Ruby is great, both as a language and a producer of hilarity. I see a lot of it at work, as we have some PHP fans, but the person who actually handles all the web stuff is a die-hard Ruby fan. They hate on each other constantly. It’s really all in good fun, but the only real difference between the arguments I see at work and the ones I see online is that online, nobody’s winking.

          1. silver Harloe says:

            They’re both wrong. Perl for the win. When I see so many people liking Ruby or PHP or… any other language, I just think “they must be fans of never trusting anyone else’s code ever, because whatever they’re doing, it probably already exists on CPAN.”

            (oh, and “wink”)

            1. The Scarlet Mathematician says:

              CPAN is like the Library of Alexandria. A treasured storehouse of knowledge, written in a dead language nobody speaks anymore.

              (*counter wink*)

              1. blue_painted says:

                And what do you think it (the dead language) dies of? Something contagious perhaps? Some lurking infection buried under tonnes of used kleenex (a.k.a somebody else’s code) …

                (** double eyed blink-wink **)

        2. Heron says:

          I was going to write a quick pastebin-like internal webpage at work. A co-worker convinced me to give Ruby a go. First order of business was to look up a syntax highlighter. He told me “of course there’s one for Ruby!” and shortly he e-mailed me a link.

          I open the project and sure enough it’s a Ruby syntax highlighter… until I start reading its requirements.

          Turns out, it’s just a Ruby wrapper around a Python syntax highlighter. He was a bit sheepish when I pointed that out. (It also appeared to be the only viable option in Ruby at the time, but it’s also possible my Google-fu needs improvement.)

          Later on I needed to access a web service by dynamically generating interface code based on its WSDL (a paradigm I hate, but that’s a rant for another time). Perl was choking on some of the namespaces, Java worked (with tons of tweaking) but Axis is a pain and a half, so when he again suggested I try Ruby I gave it another shot.

          Ruby didn’t work either, but it didn’t even have the grace to give me an error message. That was a fun waste of an hour.

          I’ve briefly ranted about Python here before… I like Python, at least conceptually, but I had some bad experience with it in college so I won’t do anything more complicated than Project Euler with it (which is pretty much all I use it for these days).

          I do have one friend who pushed Python just as hard as others push Ruby, but I think I’d agree that the shove-it-down-everyone’s-throat mindset isn’t quite as prevalent among Python users.

          On a side note, I usually enjoy Jeff Atwood’s posts, and that one was no exception, so thanks for the entertainment :)

    3. I really don’t have a lot of respect for fanboys. There’s this close-mindedness that just bugs me.

      I still remember back a few years back when I decided to try out a Linux distro called Xandros. It had this built-in program that let you run Windows programs, and my killer app (in which I do all my writing) is WordPerfect, which does not have a good native Linux implementation. So, I tried it out, and it had trouble with WordPerfect.

      I mentioned this on a forum, commenting that until I got good WordPerfect support, I probably wouldn’t use Xandros as anything other than a secondary OS. I got this response about how I should embrace open source, and do all my stuff in OpenOffice, etc. This led to a bizarre conversation where I kept having to point out that an operating system is a tool, and if it doesn’t run the programs I need it to run, it’s no good to me. For them, it seemed to me, ideology had replaced practicality.

      Nowadays, I’m a new Windows 7 user (I just made the move from WinXP after seeing how good it was on a new laptop), with Ubuntu as a secondary OS. And, I still find fanboyism to be self-defeating and idiotic…

      1. anna says:

        I am a (compromised) idealist when it comes to Open Source software. I believe in open standards and will often use them even when it is less than practical. So, yes, for me practicality has been replaced, to a degree, by ideology.

        But at least I’m honest about it. And I don’t try to force it on others; you are, naturally, free to use what you like, and freedom is much of the point of free software, after all.

        Out of curiosity (if you wander back to this comment thread): what features does WordPerfect have that keep you strongly tied to it? My last experience with WP was at least a decade ago, so I’m genuinely curious.

  11. Moridin says:

    And then there are the browser wars. Firefox vs. Chrome vs. Opera vs. Safari… For some reason there doesn’t seem to be many Explorer fanboys anymore. Adding to the Linux comments above, it seems that in webcomics where there is computer-filled workplace and there’s a new server, the author is compelled to do a storyline or at least a single strip about characters fighting over which distro to install…

    1. Jeysie says:

      Firefox vs. Opera is more like a weird Cold War where the FF people crow about their superiority and the Opera folks sulk about FF getting all of the accolades for features that Opera invented, while Opera goes almost unnoticed.

      1. Zak McKracken says:

        and right they are!
        Anyone who doesn’t love Opera should go back to IE! These people know nothing about True Greatness in Browsing Experience, and that’s an absolute Truth.

        Well … I’ve never met an Opera fanboy, except maybe I myself, but then it’s rather a hate against IE then love of Opera. Not quite happy with a few things in Opera myself. So as long as I find something to criticise, I suppose it doesn’t count.

  12. acronix says:

    WoW has become something like the Windows of mmorpgs: it´s the most famous and most used, so everyone compares it, and there´s haters and lovers everywhere.

    Of my personal experience in Warhammer Online, “Go Back To WoW”(TM) was a very widescpread saying at first. It has toned down since then, and the times I read someone saying it is always in the level 1-11 range (where most players are from trial accounts, and the other maajority are veterans making alts) and when someone points out about the stuff that WoW does better/how WoW classes are more balanced.

    I agree that the Aion numbers must be from some other dimension. I´m quite sure it should be huge.

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Yeah,except that nobody loves windows.Even the most hardcore windows fanboys just tolerate it.

      1. Joe says:

        Would I be considered a windows fanboy for hating mac fanboys?

        Seriously, I like my OS. It works. It does what I need it to do. Does the fact that that’s good enough for me make me “uncool,” as Apple would have you believe? I have no problems with their systems, but the condescending jerks who use them tend to tick me off…

        1. RustyBadger says:

          Bang on, Joe. I am a Mac user; I’m enthusiastic about the platform, even at times fanboyish. However, I have more Windows PCs in my house than Macs (four Macs versus seven PCs)- they simply have different uses. Quite honestly, Macs suck for gaming- not because their hardware is sub-par, but simply because all of the tiny subset of popular titles (read: FPS) that do get developed for Mac are hideously expensive compared to their Windows version. So I game on the PCs, and do my creative stuff on my Mac- MOSTLY. I still edit video on both platforms, using both Apple’s Final Cut suite, as well as Adobe’s.

          Do I complain about the Windows OS a lot? Yeah, every time I have to update my virus definitions or open a port in my firewall or uninstall an application. But you know what? OS X isn’t perfect either! Why can you only resize the windows from the lower right corner? Why can’t you minimise an app by clicking its icon in the Dock?

          I laugh at the Apple ads (they ARE kinda funny), but the douchebaggery of the Mac hipster makes me cringe inside and throw up a little in my mouth every time.

          I prefer to think of myself as a ‘computer fanboy’ because I love them ALL (including you, Linux- in all your flavours!).

          Dude, I live in the freakin’ FUTURE! Turns out it’s AWESOME.

      2. Kdansky says:

        I actually do know someone who rabidly defends windows. He insisted that Vista was a great system. ;)

        But they are rare.

        1. Rosseloh says:

          Ouch. Everyone I know from my last job, and my current classes, relegate vista to the same bit bucket as windows /shudder ME…

          But, there is someone in my class who is a hardcore proponent of IE8 being the best browser….So I’m not immune.

    2. krellen says:

      City of Heroes returns 4 results – two of which are posts of players saying that they, themselves, have conditions under which they would consider going back to WoW (one of those in a thread about a WoW expansion).

      Given my experience with the community of the forums there, this doesn’t surprise me. Statements praising various aspects of CoH are far more common than comments criticising other games. I don’t know if it’s moderation or a genuine maturity of the player base understanding that there can be different tastes and likes.

      I’d lean towards the former, though, because the Suggestions forums can get pretty ugly (though those comments tend to be “you’ll break the game” or “stop taking out all the challenge” rather than “go play something else”).

      Since Aion is run by the same company as City of Heroes, they may have a similar moderation scheme.

  13. Joshua says:

    Hmm, I’ve seen(and used that term before on LOTRO), but not because people were requesting any specific feature or having problems with the game, but rather because their behavior seemed rather juvenile and/or rude.

    Honestly, that’s the only complaint I had with WoW. I played it under a trial period, got to level 15, and think it’s a perfectly fine, fun and functional game. However, a number of the people playing it really turned me and my wife off. We had to turn off all of the OOC and similar channels due to the annoying banter, and I got ganked by a member of the Alliance at least 15 levels higher in a PvE server due to the player essentially exploiting the system. Wasn’t that much fun to be around some of the players there.

    1. Heron says:

      In STO I had to turn off zone chat to get away from morons asking where they go to get their light saber – and this was after retail launch, but before anyone really had trial accounts so most everyone playing had paid for the game.

  14. Jarenth says:

    I’m going to be a jackass and mention religion.

    1. silver Harloe says:

      ssshhh, and here I was trying to avoid comparing the “hating anyone who disagrees with me” attitude to politics, and you have to go and not just cross that line, but trump it … in the same sentence.

      that being said, I think these examples are a little obvious, and we should respect Shamus’ rules and leave this at “yes, those things exist” and move on to more interesting fanboy debates, like: DC Comics v Marvel Comics, or Stargate v. Star Trek v. Star Wars

      1. Kdansky says:

        And you know what the weirdest thing is: With real world things, such as religion or politics, it is actually rather easy to make statements based on facts. With a comic, most criteria are very subjective, such as art, writing, plot and character development. In real life, you could go and dig for hell, do studies on prayers (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Efficacy_of_prayer), check statistics on punishments (such as http://www.johansens.us/sane/law/capdeter.htm) and talk to affected people (ask a woman who wants to abort a child for her reasons).

        But what do we do instead? We form an opinion at the age of 5 or so and then we defend it until wars start. Most of humanity is rather insane. Or I would say: Stupid.

        *Note that I just searched on google to find examples, I have not even read these pages past the first few sentences. I might not even agree with them.

      2. Jarenth says:

        @ silver: Yeah, you’re right. I wasn’t trying to brew up a shitstorm or anything (as if that would even work here), but looking back it does have a high potential for drama. I was just suprised that no-one had mentioned it before. ;)

        So yeah, religion and politics. They exist. Case closed.

  15. Jesse says:

    I came across “go back to WoW” in the Dragon Age and Mass Effect forums, so it’s not just limited to MMOs.

  16. KremlinLaptop says:

    When I clicked on the comments section both the link and the link to comments ended with, “I guess” making the post look rather surly. Found it amusing.

    Anyway, about fanboyism in other areas outside of gaming; it exists in huge amounts and exists both as loyalty to a brand, an idea, a way of doing things, etc. It’s been pointed out in other comments in the ways it exists, but I’ll add from my personal experience in another hobby that attracts fanboyism.

    Car culture. The huge rifts you have between and within different segments of the culture and even between the fanboys of a certain brand or segment. Muscle cars or imported sports cars? You push a bunch of both into the same room and suddenly you’ll have the battle royale of car enthusiast arguments, “rice burning home appliances” that and “only fast in a straight line dinosaurs” this. This is one of those arguments that just will not die no matter what.

    That’s between different cultures. You have it within them too. If you want to see a really big argument put some different sorts of hotrod guys in the same room, say a guy with a real banger of a ratrod, some guy with a sleek modern one and then someone with a polished up ‘classic’ style hotrod. Now ask them which is closest to the original ‘spirit’ of the movement hotroding and stand back as three gearheads headbutt one another into oblivion.

    Corvette vs Viper is another good grudge match where a lot of arguers can’t afford either. Ferrari vs Lamborghini is even worse. (Viper is the correct answer to the first one, by the way).

    The attitude often does descend from simpler rivalry to outright illogical fanboyism especially when you have machines built for incredibly specialized purposes that can’t be logically compared. You have two people who drag race on the weekend and they have a bit of a pissing match? You go down to the strip, run the cars and someone ends up losing. You have that same drag racer with his Camaro get into it with a guy who likes to do autocross in his Caterham Seven on the weekends? You’re never going to settle that argument! Ultimately it boils down to people defending things they personally enjoy, they’ve invested in or both. The investment angle is especially important; it’s not just an investment of money (and it can be a huge amount of that too) but also an investment of time and that’s a really sensitive spot for most people in the ego.

    The anonymity of the internet (Hey, I think Penny Arcade made a webcomic about this!) affects car forums just like all others and you do have people who troll, who become the uber-annoying fanboy archetypes seen across gaming forums, who rant illogically and write multi-page screeds defending their pet horse. I think the fanboy has always existed, but the internet has transformed the fanboy into a louder and more annoying creature.

    Edit: On a whim I decided to look at the biggest guildwars forum — which has over four million posts on the forums — according to google “go back to wow” shows up a grand total of 912 times.

    1. Deoxy says:

      Car culture….

      “I’d rather push a X than drive a Y”

      Seriously, I’ve seen stuff to that effect (between Ford and Chevy, primarily, IIRC). Never understood it – I’d rather drive a Pinto than push a Ferrari (well, unless there was resale value involved, eh? heh).

  17. The “Go back to WoW” retort was used so frequently in Darkfall’s in-game chat that it seemed almost like a player mantra.

    I eventually pointed out that when someone complains in WoW, no one yells, “Go back to Darkfall!”

    Gosh, I wonder why?


  18. That’s very strange. My comment just disappeared into the ether!


    1. Shamus says:

      Fixed. My spam filter is not the brightest bit of software ever devised.

  19. T-Boy says:

    I have a so much loathing for fanboys…

    …so much so that I suspect that I suspect I’ve become a kind of an anti-fanboy.

    I don’t even understand why. I used to be a rather rabid Amiga fanboy.

    In my defense, though… I was fifteen.

  20. Ermel says:

    I’d just like to mention that even a relatively peaceful recreational activity like model railroading has the potential to create avid fanboyism and spectacular flamewars.

    1. Joe says:

      ” Model RR fan 1: HO GUAGE IS T3H B3ST3ST STFU, N00B.
      Model RR fan 2: Go back to your little wooden blocks.”

      Most. hilarious. mental. argument. ever.
      Thank you so much.

      But yeah, back to the point:
      I can see it happening. anything that anyone does for enjoyment will attract rabid fanboys who take it far to seriously.

      I blame the internet and the G.I.F.T. for the notoriousness of Gaming fanboys.

  21. Daemian Lucifer says:

    And lets not forget Shamus’ rabid fanboys ready to pulverize anyone who tries to be rude towards him :)

  22. Simulated Knave says:

    Amusingly, when Tabula Rasa was dying, there was little or none of that.

    Now, there was a lot of griping about people who WERE playing WoW instead of TR, but that seemed fairly understandable. And I’d say TR was a much better game. But most of the veterans cheerfully complained about various aspects of the game without any concern.

    It was a fun time, actually. Wasn’t very well populated, which was just how I like it.

  23. Joshua says:

    Oh, don’t forget about the different sects of players for each edition of D&D. That can lead into rather rabid fanboy ranting. Do other game tabletop RPG systems get that kind of ire?

    1. Moridin says:

      Some of them do. Shadowrun(cyberpunk-style game) at least does. On the other hand, GURPS doesn’t seem to get it, because the editions are fairly similar, and whenever World of Darkness is mentioned, most everyone agrees that the old one is better.

      Of course, that’s not limited to within systems. Make a post about how GURPS is the best system there is and you get a flamewar at least in forums with less mature userbase.

    2. Senji says:

      Don’t get me started on 4e.
      You see the way things are is most tabletop players are ok with other systems but then there’s 4e.
      A lobotomized 3.5 ed:
      They killed an entire alignment axis, yep no neutral. You are either EVIL OR GOOD. LAWFUL OR CHAOTIC. Wouldn’t want people to get morally confused you see. Everyone can heal themselves. Healing surges? WTF!?
      The list goes on and on and on. It’s sickening. They got wow players in their sights and aimed straight for them.

      1. Bryan says:

        I also felt that 4e was like the WOW of D&D. It may be fanboyism, but I felt that the way the chatacters special abilities were done was very similar to WoW’s system. I played it for a while, then went back to 3.5e.

  24. Ergonomic Cat says:

    I’m cool.

    I say “Go back to UO.”

    The phenomenon is, to me, a reflection of the “I hate the coolest thing” of teenagers. WoW is popular, thus, to be cool and edgy, I mock it. Because everyone knows that cool kids don’t play WoW.

    And yet 99% of the people saying that, I’d be willing to bet, have played WoW. And likely enjoyed it (though they’ll never admit it).

    Gamers seem to have this odd belief that there is a certain amount of happiness and fun in the world. If someone else is enjoying a game, their game has, thus, lost some fun. They must denigrate that game to increase the available fun for their game.

  25. Ramsus says:

    Yeah, I don’t think this is a unique phenomenon at all. People everywhere love to have “their group” as opposed to “those guys”. The less differences there are between those groups the more fighting there seems to be. I mean just look at religions. I don’t see Buddhists waging wars on Satanists. Nope the wars are fought between those guys who all believe in essentially the same thing but with a few differences.

    I have myself told people to go back to WoW and seen other people do so in a reasonable manner. This was because someone was complaining some game did not have a certain feature Wow did. I’m not talking about features that were simply missing or overlooked but cases where it was clearly intentionally different or omitted on purpose. Of course I’ve also seen people do what you’ve complained about too.

    Btw “boatfag” was hilarious.

  26. RTBones says:

    Ok, “boatfag” had me laughing.

    Skiers vs snowboarders…firk ding, yeah, it happens. Especially when the boarders camp BELOW or BEHIND a mogul or change in slope pitch and I cant see them as I come barreling down the hill. Nothing like a yard sale you didnt see coming. Its not as bad as it once was, since more and more resorts are putting in half-pipes that mainly boarders use. But it is there.

    Another one (very American-centric) is the automatic transmission vs. manual transmission debate. Go to Europe or the UK, and most cars are manual. Here…not so much. Going to an American car dealership and asking if they have anything with a manual transmission is like hitting your head against a concrete wall repeatedly, hoping each time you do so that it wont hurt, even though it does and you know it will but you have to try anyway because thats what drunk people do.

    1. Greg from St Paul says:

      Only wusses drive automatics.

      1. Jarenth says:

        If you don’t like it, go back to walking.

      2. silver Harloe says:

        I used to be one of these fanboys myself. My catch-phrase was “you drive a manual, you merely steer an automatic.”

    2. RustyBadger says:

      Better yet, try diesel versus gasoline. Everywhere in the world except the States, people drive diesel-powered passenger cars. [fanboy] My Jetta has a fuel economy (measured, in real life) of 5.7 litres per hundred kilometres (that’s 64 miles per US gallon, for those of you in the dark ages). [/fanboy]

      1. RTBones says:

        Yeah, I’ll never understand the logic behind killing diesel cars here in the US – apart, of course, from greed.

        1. Garden Ninja says:

          My understand was that people didn’t like Diesel engines because they are louder than regular engines.

          There used to be a few consumer grade cars with Diesel engines (e.g. VW Rabbit). Not sure if they even try to sell them in the states anymore.

          1. RTBones says:

            It depends on which conspiracy theory you lend credence to. The diesel cycle is more efficient. Now, that said, back in the day, they _were_ louder and a bit more sooty. These days, though, there is no reason you cant run them right along side gasoline motors.

            As to what gets sold over here – I know the Jetta and soon-to-be-released Golf have diesel varieties. The Audi A3 has a diesel variant. I believe Mercedes and BMW also have at least one model that is diesel for the US, but I am not certain.

            1. Daemian Lucifer says:

              If by back in the day you mean some 10 years ago.

              It wasnt just the noise though.Diesel engines needed a bit longer before they could start up(a few seconds),and had problems in low temperatures(about -15 celsius).But again,that was over 10 years ago.

              1. Deoxy says:

                My only real experience with diesel is the girl in high school who had a diesel VW bug that several of the guys would help her push-start when it was cold.

                That, and seeing how truck drivers always seem to leave their trucks running, would lead me to believe that diesel is a real pain (or at least has been until very recently, maybe?) if the weather is not particularly nice.

                Not saying that is actually the case, mind you, just that that is the only exposure I’ve had to it (and I would suspect that I am not alone in that).

                1. Daemian Lucifer says:

                  Like I said,thats how it was 10 years ago.I have a relatively old diesel car now(2 years old),and this winter I had no problem with ignition even on the day the temperature plummeted to -20 celsius.Current diesel engines are the same as gasoline engines,and even outrank them in several fields.Not to mention that diesel is cheaper.Its just progress.

                  Today,its natural gas that fairs somewhat like diesel back then:cheap,but takes a bit to warm up.And I guess in a decade or two it will get improved to the same level.Unless electrical motors become even better(which is a real possibility now,since they are fairly close).

        2. ehlijen says:

          There’s also the fact that Diesel and petrol are made from the same base raw material. You can’t just make too much more of one and not the other. Thus you need to balance it’s use between the two to not end up with a surplus of the other.

          In europe this is encouraged by higher taxes for diesel engines, meaning that over the course of a regular car’s life expectancy, you’d break about even. Or so I was told about 10 years ago.

          So my guess is if the US uses more diesel for truck and train transportation (as opposed to a much larger electric train grid in europe), they need to push the use of petrol more to balance the use.

          No clue if I’m right, but that’s what I’m told about this sort of stuff.

  27. Kdansky says:

    What annoys the hell out of me: The fanboyism destroys any attempt at civilised discussion. I do have a Notebook Mac (which I used exclusively during a full year in foreign lands), and a Windows 7 desktop (now primarily for gaming), and I use Ubuntu at work. I clocked a lot of time on every system, and I know rather well which one does what best. If you ask me “what system should I use”, you will get a long answer with tons of “if” in there, because it depends on the user. You will also get rants on how system X does feature Y so incredibly much better than system Z that I cannot believe system Z has still not caught up. Which then a fanboy jumps upon to tell me that I should go back to WoW, so to speak.

    During the programming language discussion I defended Java, and I do not even like Java! I think it gets the job done, and I prefer it to languages that are even worse suited for most tasks but used way too widespread (C++/C), but that is about it. It has very few really neat features anymore that other technologies would not cover better. And many great features are a secret, such as the Executor-framework and many, many Annotations.

    Slightly unrelated: I recently played WAR, and it reminded me more than a little bit of WoW. It is essentially a carbon copy with DAoC pvp, bad balancing and hideous art design (as is usual with mythic). But one cannot have a discussion about that without getting told to gbtwow. Do I think WoW is the better game? Probably yes, because they try to fix things. But then again, I have not played it for a year now.

    1. acronix says:

      Anexus: Huge wall of text. Feel free to ignore if you don´t care about Warhammer-o stuff.

      WAR fanboy here, ready to strike! (Just joking, just joking!)

      I must say that I don´t hear the GBTWoW so much lately, except in lower tiers (Deja Vu!). Even though, I´ll try to defend my favourite mmorpg like a fanboy!

      Class balance is not encouraged, since the game centers a lot on “army battles” (or zerg rushes, or big skirmishes). WoW has a better in-class balance, but the pvp system is basically a bunch of duels at the same time in the same place. In war, each class is balanced against it´s mirror-class (ussually), taking into account its army role. For instance, tanks can´t kill a damn, but they highly resistant, have lots of support skills, can make healers near unkilleable unless focused fired on and disrupt the enemy targeting. Lots of people try to ignore tanks because of their negligible dps, but they may end aiming at them because they are annoying. A warband consisting of only dps and healers will get slaughtered by a warband of same number that has some tanks thrown in.
      Certain classes are, however, imbalanced and I have to admit it. Melee-healer classes can dish out a lot of dps, are highly resistant and can heal theirselves and others, becoming very much like a tank with high dps.
      On the other hand, you may meant faction balance (as in where one side one-kills the other in every battle) which is caused by population problems and, maybe, the lack of a third faction. However, such imbalance is ussally solved by itself after a while, and the “wave of victories” that one side had end up being on the other one for some time.

      About the art… Mythic tried to keep the grothesque aesthetics of the tabletop. Some stuff is really hideous, though, like the pants in one of the knights set. What the hell were they thinking? I like it more than WoW, anyway. I mean, in WoW you look like a clown up to level 40 (sometimes more). In WAR at least you look like a foot soldier with matching clothes after level 9-10.

      Carboncopyness: WoW was a great success, so it is evident that to have a share of it, they would copy some of their most appealing systems. They are directed to different player bases, however, with WoW being more PvE-duel-o-centric while WAR is about army/group/zerg rushes efforts.

      WoW has a lot of better decitions, though. It´s more casual than WAR; the visual design really shines (about composition and placing, at least: I like the art designs of WAR more, but places and battlefields don´t look as good), has a better crafting system, has content to appeal both PvErs and PvPers, and, maybe the most important, it has the population of a small country.
      BUT! Warhammer Online was rushed to realease just before Wrath of the Lich King, being a really buggy game. It got better, but that premature release costed lots of population. Less population = less suscriptions = less money = less pay for the developers = developers can´t spend the money necesary to make patches/newc content. The release of the game there was a terrible, terrible decition, and I think is the reason of most of the handicaps the game had, and has, even today.

      PS: Oh, yeah. Go Back To WoW! (TM)

  28. eri says:

    I ran into this the other day. I contributed to a thread about the abundance of hackers in Battlefield Bad Company 2, and suggested that the amount of hackers in the game was tempting me to go back to Modern Warfare 2 (the intended irony being that Modern Warfare 2 itself is known for having lots of hackers, the implication being that Battlefield Bad Company 2 was even more intolerable). Cue several posts flaming me about how I was too much of a newbie to play Battlefield, how I was stupid, etc.

    It’s totally ridiculous how intense some people’s passions can be; I can understand loving a game, but I can’t understand loving it so much that you purposely misinterpret statements by other people just as an excuse to attack them.

  29. dan says:

    I think another interesting question is, what the hell should developers do about fanboys? They are actually hurting the developer by making it completely impossible to get any kind of real feedback from their audience, maybe sometimes even by scaring away potential new customers. But still, a developer cannot just go to their forums and tell their own fanboys to shut the fuck up; that would probably be seen as being disrespectful of their fanbase, which is a deadly sin.

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Civilization forums are usually without fanboys.Thats probably because the game was always easy to mod,and player input was encouraged.So,encouraging players to give their ideas might be the way to weed out dumb fanboys.

      Or maybe,its the fact that to be a fanboy you have to enjoy a game mindlessly,which you cant really do with civ games.

      1. Pickly says:

        I think a big part of the relative lack of internet assholery (or however you’d spell it) in civilization comes from the lack of emotional investment in the games more than anything else. Compare MMO’s, where players are online and often have lots of achievements and experience to keep them drawn to the game, plus they eat up lots of time, and competetive ones like shooters, starcraft, etc., where for the competetive players at least, there’s some emotional investment in showing that they are better than other players. On the other hand, civilization games don’t really have this, since they are mostly single player and there’s not much to compete over, plus they are played as self contained games and not something to build achievements with.

        I have noticed that the elemental forums beta forums have gotten somewhat nasty when certain features are being discussed, and something similar seems to be going on here, where certain players are quite invested in the game being a certain way.

  30. Jeysie says:

    I feel your pain… the Transformers comics fandom lately has gotten so bad about dealing maturely with people offering criticism that even the creators have gotten into being snub-nosed about anyone who doesn’t praise everything.

    Although in that case it’s less “go back to x” and more, “well, this book isn’t for you anyway, so shut up and stop reading”.

  31. Rosseloh says:

    To be fair to the portion of us LotRO players who are mature and sensible, I want to mention that at least half the time, if the phrase shows up in our forums, the person in question was not trying to open discussions, but was instead insulting the game. Or, pointing out that “this is how they do it in WoW” without saying how we could do it here while keeping it balanced (or, in the case of the epitome of dead horses: people who want flying mounts, without realizing that we have a source trilogy of books to follow where the eagles only ever carried people in the greatest need, and when Gandalf was there).

    I’m not against progress in the game, and I’m not against changes. I’d venture to say a lot of LotRO players aren’t. But, there’s always the few that have a bit of an attitude… Anyway, most of the time I actually see that phrase pulled out (which is rather rare — granted I don’t go to the PVP forums), it’s in response to someone who really doesn’t know what they’re talking about.

    1. Joshua says:

      Yeah, when I hear about the general suggestions of things like, “WoW has better mail systems, or auctionhouses, UI, etc., I think there’s room for a good discussion and perhaps the game can be improved. If people are suggesting just plain ridiculous ideas like Flying Mounts, PvP in every zone*, etc., it’s hard to take them seriously.

      *I’m talking about PvP in every zone in the sense that WoW has it, or that LOTRO has it in the Ettenmoors. I think a system somewhat like the way that Left 4 Dead has could be pretty cool – i.e., monster players are like ghosts that possess spawned creatures for a zone and can’t leave the area beyond their spawn radius. The only downside I see would be that it would reduce the effectiveness of Aggro control abilities.

  32. GuiguiBob says:

    My personal rule on the matter is : Don’t be a fanboy unless someone pays you to be one.

  33. Zak McKracken says:

    I think this attitude really spreads over pretty much every topic.
    I’ve been told to leave the country if I have a problem with this one, after I was trying to point out that one law (which was much debated and finally did not pass) should better not be passed … by a person I had never thought could be like that.

    I don’t really think it’s the “WoW sucks because you suck and therefore WoW sucks” scheme, but rather a general fallacy that occurs if someone’s either feeling strongly for or against something, or are just plain afraid of changes.

    From a fanboy’s perspective it probably looks like this: He’s at peace with everything about whatever’s being debated, and every criticism is perceived as something that might eventually change something about it, and he/she fears that, and feels like his paradise is being invaded. But if the intruder doesn’t like [whatever], then why are they still here, why don’t they just go to where they like it better?
    What they fail to realize is that:
    1. If you don’t like something it’s no real solution to go away and hope it’s better somewhere else
    2. You can like something and still see flaws in it, which
    3. makes you want to invest time and thoughts into how things might be made better

    From my perspective it’s that maybe the fanboy doesn’t want to be reminded of defects that his favourite [enter category] might have, because that worsens his experience. He can ignore a flaw, but not anymore if everyone is debating it. So it might not have been perfect before, but who knows what it will be when they change it? Maybe it’s gonna be awful, so just shut up and leave it, because it’s not so bad and you never know.
    So the problem might just be the necessary frustration level for different people to start doing something about a perceived problem, even if it’s just talking.

    The only case where “quit complaining and go to X” is a useful response is when you know they will actually be able to find what they want at X. This is almost never the case. There’s no perfect game, not perfect computer, OS, Browser, Desktop environment (did we have the Gnome/KDE controversy yet?), country, political party/system/whatever, car (oh boy, do I ever know car fanboys!), Musician, so I can’t just pick another and be happy, I have to see what is there and then try to make it better. And even if I can’t make it become better (for some reason no car company wanted to build my dream car!), at least I can talk about what I like and what I don’t, in fact I think everything should do that a lot more. After all criticism is necessary for improvement.

    I do realize this can get on people’s nerves sometimes …

  34. RichVR says:

    I’m sorry. But the whole use of the term fanboy/i bothers me in a way that I can’t really… Oh, that’s right. Divisiveness. I don’t care what point you are trying to make, using a divisive term is wrong.

    First of all the strawmen definitions that you start with are wrong. Secondly, picking ONE as your definition is a problem.

    Let’s try it another way, that doesn’t make it a you or us thing.

    Some people call others fanbois. They are assholes. Some people are your second definition. They are assholes too.

    Some people do not need to use either definition to describe themselves, or others.

    They are the people on the forums that keep in contact with the devs. The people that run characters on the test server. That post on the forum areas that discuss actual issues with the game.

    The majority of us don’t give a flying fuck at a rolling donut about what you fanboi/y types post in the general area. Fight amongst yourselves all you damn want.

    The rest of us, the ones who beta tested the games. The ones who actually care about the damn game, are still testing. Still playing. Still caring about the game. Whichever it is.

    And we wish that the rset of you would just shut the fuck up. We have a game to fix. Okay?

    1. Shamus says:

      Well, we need a word for people who react negatively when their toy is criticized. If fanboy is SO HEINOUS that it cannot be used for this purpose, then perhaps you’d be so good as to suggest an alternative, so that we can have discussions about this sort of stuff and be able to communicate with others? . Preferably a single word?


      1. Jarenth says:




      2. Jarenth says:




      3. RichVR says:

        Okay. Maybe I responded in too strong a manner. I sometimes get really annoyed by the “boy/boi” in fanboy/boi”. I certainly didn’t need to use profanity. I apologize.


        Why a single word? I can think of a lot of single word epithets that are used to simply get a rise out of people. I won’t mention them, because I’m not going to get into some comparison game.

        But really? Why a single word to label people? Why can’t people use several words to describe someone or something that they dislike or indeed like?

        Why simplify the language to the point that it brands the people that you disagree with, and shut down communication by causing anger? in fact that’s what my original post seems to have done. And it was WRONG. Wasn’t it?

        Shamus, I don’t have a single word for what you you describe. I just have an issue with fanboi. It’s divisive. Less divisiveness would be a good thing, don’t you think? Even “gamer” can be used as a negative word in the right context. I think context is more important than a label. If you want to label people you are putting a lot of them on the defensive. I think there are other ways of doing it. Obviously, I didn’t state this clearly in my original post. But it was my point, however divisively worded it was.

        Again I apologize.

        1. Daemian Lucifer says:

          Why use a single word to describe anything then?Why “internet” and not “a series of cables transmitting data in small chunks across the world”?Why simplify the language there?

          See,the communication gets so much easier when you brand things with single words.And why not cram the idiots described here with a single word?If you just say idiots,well thats a bit too broad.There are idiots that dont use computers.Fanboys just fits perfectly here.

          Besides,you say that context is much more important than label.Well that context was given in the very beginning.So why the problem then?

    2. acronix says:

      I don´t understand why did you feel offended, RichVR. I can tell that it was the second deffinition. I think you missed its point. It reads:

      “Person who likes something someone else hates.”

      Do you realize that everyone likes something that someone else hates? Maybe my brother likes pizza, but I hate it. It doesn´t imply that I hate it because my brother hates it, or that my brother likes it because I hate it. What this definition means is that some people, in their hate for pizza, will call people who like pizza “fanboys” because of the mere fact they like something they hate.

      In other words, liking pizza while someone else hates it, doesn´t make you a fanboy, but someone somewhere may call you one. And that someone is using the second definition. They just don´t know they are calling you a pizza fanboy because they hate pizza or because they like pizza, but because they don´t understand how could you like it.

    3. Joe says:

      To add on to what acronix is saying:

      Your argument (And please, correct me if I’m misinterpreting it.) is that the usage of the term “fanboy” is divisive. However, I believe one of the chief characteristics of a fanboy is that they are inherently divisive. That is pretty much the major feature of Shamus’s first definition. That inherent “How can you not like [object of fanboydom]? Clearly you are in some way an idiot.” divisiveness of the “fanboy” is what separates them from the people who you claim (and I agree) are the majority – the ones who don’t give a damn about the fanboys. This group I would refer to as “fans,” and not “fanboys.”

      Of course, I can kind of see where you’re coming from in situations where “fanboy” is used as an insult to someone – anyone – who responds to (stupid) criticism by pointing out flaws in it. To paraphrase an (imagined) conversation in the LoTRO forums:

      LoTRO player 1: “Why don’t we have flying mounts? WoW has flying mounts. Clearly, this game is not as good as WoW.”
      LoTRO player 2: “It really doesn’t fit in with the Lord of the Rings lore. The only practical flying mounts would be the eagles, and that doesn’t really work with this. This is not WoW, you know.”
      LoTRO player 1: “Hey fanboy, STFU!”

      In this instance, I can see the term being used unfairly and divisively. I’d agree that the second definition doesn’t really work, as then LoTRO player 2 would fit in it. Which, I’d imagine, is why Shamus chose to use the first.

  35. Christine says:

    I just have to add this.

    I’m a GIRL.

    Reading this.

    And I play WoW.

    And I’m firmly in the ADD original or 2nd edition camp.

    Oh, and I hate ninjas. Because the Tick hates ninjas.


    1. silver Harloe says:

      marry me?


  36. ClearWater says:

    I was going to mention Aion but I see some people already did.

    For a lark I tried the search on the WoW forums and got 134,000 results. What does that mean? (Correction, depending on whether I include “http://” and/or a trailing “/”, it gives me either 134,000 or 964.)

    Btw, the search for LotRO only gave me 125 results. That’s using the exact search link from the article, you know, by clicking on it. With the trailing “/” it became 14,800. What are you up to, Google?..

    Edit: I tried to include the link but something keeps editing it out so I’ll just say the forum I used was forums.worldofwarcraft.com.

  37. NotYetMeasured says:

    I realize the Google searches were not presented as scientifically rigorous, but one thing to consider is how often the forums get purged. LOTRO does it annually, I think, so you’re probably only getting 8 months of data or so from them (unless Google caches it much longer). I don’t know about the forum policies for other games, but Aion hasn’t even been around that long, has it?

  38. Adeon says:

    I’m not surprised the STO forums “won”. They are quite possibly the most hate and bile filled forums I have ever encountered (and I used to read the TF2 forums).

  39. Robyrt says:

    How well does this translate to other genres?

    “Go back to Starcraft!”
    “Go back to Street Fighter!”
    “Go back to FIFA!”
    “Go back to Bejeweled!”
    “Go back to FarmVille!”

    None of these make much sense. Unlike MMOs – where players of niche games feel they are superior to and threatened by WoW players – Street Fighter is both popular and respected. Instead, self-appointed alpha males will whine about how uncool it is to play the newest Super Street Fighter EX Alpha 4 Dash, compared to last year’s Super Street Fighter EX Alpha 3 Reloaded, but they’re doing it anyway because it’s what everyone else is playing.

    1. acronix says:

      Hey, I use the “GBTStarcraft!” when someone tries to use zerg rush tactics in other, more strategic game. Ussually when they are beating me with it.

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        Depends on what you mean by “more strategic”.Rush is a viable strategy because while it can grant easy victory,it requires quick scouting and a bit of luck.And if it fails,it leaves you vulnerable to a devastating counterattack.If the game is well balanced,that is.

        Besides,if you dont like rushing,there are always “X minutes of peace” rules.

    2. Pickly says:

      It also has to do with the amount of time MMOs eat up compared to other games. It probably wouldn’t make much sense to tell someone “go back ot starcraft”, because both players could very well be playing starcraft along with whatever game they are doing at the moment. With MMo’s, though, the amount of time a lot of them take means that players will be a lot less likely to be playing several at a time. (Or, at least, the types of players who are likely to be into a game enough to say “go back to WoW”)

  40. Miral says:

    It’s interesting that there is actually a valid term “fangirls”, and it means something different than “female fanboys”.

    I’m sure there are some male fangirls (come to think of it, there’s one in Dr Horrible!), just as there are female fanboys, but there must be some kind of gender-based tendency that led to that original naming…

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